Do EHR investments lead to lower staffing levels?
A study used FTE employees per adjusted occupied bed (FTE/AOB) as a measure to ascertain the effect of EHR investments on labor productivity. The study focused on three primary questions: Do FTE/AOB decline as the number of EHR applications used in a hospital increases? Is impact on FTE/AOB greater with some EHR applications than with others? Do FTE/AOB decline overtime, as the hospital continues to use the EHR application?
Available from: Rajesh Mirani
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ABSTRACT: This study investigates the influence of the Medicare EHR Incentive Program on EHR adoption at acute care hospitals and the impact of EHR adoption on operational and financial efficiency/effectiveness. It finds that even before joining the incentive program, adopter hospitals had more efficient and effective Medicare operations than those of non-adopters. Adopters were also financially more efficient. After joining the program, adopter hospitals treated significantly more Medicare patients by shortening their stay durations, relative to their own non-Medicare patients and also to patients at non-adopter hospitals, even as their overall capacity utilization remained relatively unchanged. The study concludes that many of these hospitals had implemented EHR even before the initiation of the incentive program. It further infers that they joined this program with opportunistic intentions of tapping into incentive payouts which they maximized by taking on more Medicare patients. These findings give credence to critics of the program who have questioned its utility and alleged that it serves only to reward existing users of EHR technologies.
Available from: Jay J Shen
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ABSTRACT: This study examined relationships of electronic health record (EHR) adoption to both the cost of care and quality outcomes in the acute care hospital setting. Data were mainly obtained from the 2009 National Inpatient Sample and the 2009 American Hospital Association EHR implementation survey. Two sets of dependent variables were identified. The first set included quality indicators of five cardiovascular and three cerebrovascular conditions and procedures. The second set included cost of care for the eight quality indicators. The independent variables were levels of EHR adoption. The results did not identify many differences in quality indicators across levels of EHR adoption, but consistently showed that patients in hospitals with EHR systems incurred lower costs than patients in hospitals without a comprehensive or basic EHR system. It was concluded that EHR adoption is more likely to be associated with the cost of patient care than improving quality indicators and clinical outcomes.
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